After rear-view camera Ford is making one other nice feature available as standard on most of the North American models since 2012 and that’s the Auto Start-Stop system. Currently this system is found on Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid and some Ford cars in Europe, but from 2012 it will also be added to conventional cars, crossovers and SUVs.
For those of you who are not familiar with start-stop system, it shuts down the engine every time the car become stationary and restarts it when you hit the gas pedal to move away. It is a seamless and hassle-free operation which according to Ford will improve fuel economy for most drivers by at least four percent. The gain can be as high as 10 percent for some drivers, depending on vehicle size and usage.
Ford’s global Auto Start-Stop technology is smooth, quiet and seamless, and it requires no changes to the driver’s behavior. In city driving when the vehicle is stopped, the engine restarts the instant the driver’s foot leaves the brake pedal. When the engine is off, all of the vehicle’s accessories function normally.
“For the driver, Ford Auto Start-Stop provides extra fuel efficiency without inconvenience, as it works completely automatically,” said Barb Samardzich, Ford vice president of Powertrain engineering. “And, just like in our hybrid vehicles, the heater, and air conditioner work as normal so drivers will not sacrifice comfort.”
The global rollout of Auto Start-Stop is under way in Europe. The system, designed to work on both gasoline and diesel engines, is standard on the ECOnetic models of the Ford Ka and Mondeo, and is launching now on Focus, C-MAX and Grand C-MAX. The fuel-saving system debuts in North America in 2012 and eventually will be offered in all of Ford’s global markets.
Auto Start-Stop is just the latest in a long list of fuel-saving technologies Ford has brought to market in recent years.
Ford’s industry-leading suite of fuel-saving technologies include:
- EcoBoost engines, which combine turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing or Ti-VCT, with downsizing to deliver outstanding fuel economy without sacrificing performance
- Improved and highly fuel-efficient TDCi turbo-diesel engines in European models with low emissions and high levels of refinement
- Electric power steering, which eliminates the engine-driven hydraulic pump, lines and fluid
- Six-speed transmissions, which enable engines to run more efficiently by always selecting the best gear for fuel economy
- PowerShift dual-clutch automatic transmission, which efficiently sends the engine’s power through the transmission without relying on a torque converter or hydraulic pumps
In 2011, Ford will be the only manufacturer in North America to offer four vehicles that get 40 mpg or more. Those vehicles, the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Ford Fusion Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, are part of a dozen vehicles leading their sales segments in fuel economy, a record no other manufacturer can match.”Ford Auto Start-Stop works so fast and so seamlessly, most drivers won’t even notice it is there, though they will notice the benefits in their lower fuel bills,” Samardzich said.